Go Back   Small Wars Council > Small Wars Participants & Stakeholders > PMCs and Entrepreneurs

PMCs and Entrepreneurs Applied capitalism. Making money in the war zone, and the issues that go with it.

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-21-2008   #101
Council Member
120mm's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Wonderland
Posts: 1,284

Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
Count me among those who can proudly proclaim that in three deployments to Iraq, I did not partake in the madness that was the FOB lifestyle. For me, being in Iraq did not include Pizza Hut, Subway, Green Bean, a PX, a gigantic DFAC full of overweight Soldiers, salsa night, or paying for sex. That said, I would also point out that I did occasionally travel to FOBs for logistical issues - thankfully I never had to stay more than 8 hours. But I had zero bad experiences with contractors. In fact, they were far better than their Army counterparts, from what I observed.

Here is one example (I could give many more): weapons repair. My supply sergeant brought weapons in need of repair to the nearest FOB during OIF III. For the first half of the deployment, it was run by Army personnel. They were great at making excuses for why they could not fix the weapons or why they would not fix them and they were great at showing up late, leaving early, taking extended lunch breaks, and making excuses for why the work order paperwork was incorrect and precluded any further action until the following week when my supply sergeant would make another futile attempt. As soon as those yahoos were replaced by big, fat contractors with bushy white beards, our weapons got immediately fixed on the spot, almost every time. The longest turn-around was a matter of hours. It was a day and night difference. Their "hours of operation" were longer, their work ethic was better, they were faster, more efficient, more effective, easier to work with - I could go on.

This was representative of my experiences with weapons repair, supply warehouses, 30 level mechanical repairs, and more, both in Iraq and in Kuwait. I loved it when Brown & Root took over more functions of our logistics, because I knew that instead of some slugabed E-4, supervised by a lazy E-6, and commanded by a lackluster O-2 or O-3 (or worse), either I or my supply sergeant was going to be dealing with someone who could be fired if too many Soldiers complained about his performance, someone who was earning $80K per year and thus did not want to lose his job. It made a world of difference.
Quoted for truth. If you want jack #### done, assign it to a soldier. Contractors get the job done and start asking if you have more work for them.

On the other hand, in each and every instance of contractor malfeasance/mistakes, there was a line of soldiers/officers who dropped the ball in their responsibilities vis-a-vis contract execution, usually due to laziness or incompetence.
120mm is offline  
Old 07-21-2008   #102
Council Member
120mm's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Wonderland
Posts: 1,284

Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
I can remember being in the field as a young soldier and complaining because we thought that the REMFs were keeping the "good" t-rats and giving us the bad ones (in retrospect I have no idea what the difference between a good and a bad t-rat is)
Oh c'mon, man! You know the "good" t-rat is the one you skipped, and the "bad" t-rat is the one you ate 45 minutes ago, and now you are writhing in the turret floor in agony, having explosive involuntary bowel movements.

But at least that was my experience circa 1987-91.
120mm is offline  
Old 10-21-2009   #103
Council Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,444

I just saw this pic at Michael J. Totten's blog and I immediately thought of the weapons repair shops at the FOBs in Iraq...

Schmedlap is offline  
Old 07-26-2010   #104
Council Member
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 137
Default US Special Forces logistics by a PMC

It was recently announced that US Special Forces will now be supported by Lockheed Martin.

For the most part, I am a supporter of contracting some duties to PMCs. However, I feel that our special forces-the US's elite "Dagger"- should be self sufficient. I understand contracting the logistics for the National Guard, but US Special Forces should not have to rely on corporations for support.

The only benefit I can think of is deniability. If US SF ever get caught in a mess, we could possibly blame the actions on Lockheed Martin.

huskerguy7 is offline  
Old 07-26-2010   #105
Brett Patron
Council Member
Brett Patron's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Yorktown, Virginia
Posts: 45

The article, which is thin on detail, implies that the support requirements are probably for specialized equipment (not owned by, or trained, by the Services) or for functions that require specific expertise. It is probably more cost effective to do it this way, particularly in deployed areas. It doesn't require a force plus up justification, and can easily be expanded or contracted numbers-wise to meet needs.

One thing about which it is important to be clear: this contract supports US Special Operations Forces. This means all of the various SOF entities provided through all of the Services.

US Army "Special Forces", one small part of the larger SOF whole, has pretty robust organic logisitics capability, and receive the appropriate plus ups when they execute a SOTF/JSOTF mission. However, besides Army Special Forces, most SOF entities by design have pretty thin organic, uniformed logistics support.
Brett Patron is offline  
Closed Thread


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:25 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation